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Deviant Behavior [Mass Market Paperback]

Earl Emerson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 14 1990 Thomas Black Mysteries
When seventeen-year-old Todd Steeb has been missing for eight days, his wealthy parents hire Thomas Black to investigate. Faith Steeb is worried by her son's obsession with suicide, though her husband dismisses it as youthful "deviance." Aided by his lawyer friend Kathy Birchfield, Black finds forgotten crime, buried treasure, possible murder, and enough "deviant" behavior to blow Seattle off the map.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Deviant behavior" is an ironic label for Todd Steeb, a lonely, teenaged track star whose behavior throughout this story is actually heroic, and who, at the outset, is thought to have run away from home. Private investigator Thomas Blackfirst introduced in The Rainy City is hired to find him. In the course of his quest, Black encounters a trail of cash (leading to Todd), an eccentric writer and his has-been, Hollywood-actress girlfriend and the many denizens of Seattle's nicely detailed Chinatown. However, neither the events described nor the characters evoked make for an engaging story. Deviant Behavior is pleasant and workmanlike at its best, but it is never compelling. Paperback rights to Ballantine.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Earl Emerson's acclaimed series about Seattle private investigator Thomas Black is much beloved by readers and critics. And with justification. (These novels, running the gamut from THE RAINY CITY to the just-issued CATFISH CAF, are among my all-time favorite detective tales, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Earl's editor.) But I don't know any other crime novelist who amasses such fervent praise from his peers. It would be a crime to call Earl Emerson merely a "writer's writer." But there sure are a lot of talented authors who revere him. To wit . . .

Aaron Elkins: "In every book he tries something new, and he always comes up a winner. In the best tradition of American crime fiction, Emerson is a master of witty dialogue; clever, complex plotting; and lucid, meaty prose."

Robert Crais: "Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet, evincing a quality of phrase and nuance that elevates the genre."

Ann Rule: "Earl Emerson and Thomas Black only get better and better! Earl Emerson has taken his place in the rarefied air of the best of the best!"

'Nuff said.

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Black's Decent "Behavior" May 24 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Deviant Behavior" was the first novel in the Thomas Black P.I. series that I have read. I am a huge P.I. fiction fan, and on the basis of this novel I would place Earl W. Emmerson's hero only a notch or so below masters like Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block and Loren Estleman. Black is not as quick with a metaphor as the best P.I.s, nor is he as world weary or cynical. And Emmerson leaves a lot of the details of his story a little fuzzy around the edges. But the central mystery in "Deviant Behavior" held my interest and it raises some interesting points about the human capacity for guilt and mistrust. The ending may stretch credibility a bit, but overall the novel is a good one for P.I. fiction fans. I guess the best recommendation I can give is that I do plan to spend some more time with Mr. Black in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Deviant Behavior Sept. 1 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Deviant Behavior" is the fifth Thomas Black novel by Earl Emerson. Seventeen-year-old Todd Steeb has run away from home, and his parents hire Black to investigate. Thomas and Todd's brother, Buzz, travel to Seattle's Chinatown and the old Milwaukee hotel in search of Todd, whom Buzz thinks is investigating the suicide of their uncle Jan. The plot is somewhat convoluted. It involves murder, suicide, missing money, and the author of a cult classic novel. All this said, "Deviant Behavior" was entertaining and is another fine addition to the Thomas Black series.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Emerson's "Deviant Behavior" greatly! Not only because of the "hero" Thomas Black, but because it is located here in Seattle, WA and is incredibly accurate as to locations, etc. Question for anyone: Read Raymond Chandler's "The Lady In The Lake" last week. Our instructor indicated today that Emerson perhaps stole something from Chandler. I cannot find what this might be. Can anyone help me with this? Many thanks. (Loved both books, by the way.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner! Jan. 12 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Another good addition to the Thomas Black series. A light, entertaining book - and series - which keeps you laughing, thinking and turning the pages to the final chapter. A fun read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Would like to compare it to "The Lady In The Lake May 12 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Emerson's "Deviant Behavior" greatly! Not only because of the "hero" Thomas Black, but because it is located here in Seattle, WA and is incredibly accurate as to locations, etc. Question for anyone: Read Raymond Chandler's "The Lady In The Lake" last week. Our instructor indicated today that Emerson perhaps stole something from Chandler. I cannot find what this might be. Can anyone help me with this? Many thanks. (Loved both books, by the way.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A page turner! Jan. 12 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Another good addition to the Thomas Black series. A light, entertaining book - and series - which keeps you laughing, thinking and turning the pages to the final chapter. A fun read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black's Decent "Behavior" May 24 2001
By Brian D. Rubendall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Deviant Behavior" was the first novel in the Thomas Black P.I. series that I have read. I am a huge P.I. fiction fan, and on the basis of this novel I would place Earl W. Emmerson's hero only a notch or so below masters like Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block and Loren Estleman. Black is not as quick with a metaphor as the best P.I.s, nor is he as world weary or cynical. And Emmerson leaves a lot of the details of his story a little fuzzy around the edges. But the central mystery in "Deviant Behavior" held my interest and it raises some interesting points about the human capacity for guilt and mistrust. The ending may stretch credibility a bit, but overall the novel is a good one for P.I. fiction fans. I guess the best recommendation I can give is that I do plan to spend some more time with Mr. Black in the future.
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on track. Sept. 13 2013
By Chad Roller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Deviant Behavior is a very short entry in the series, along with the next entry Yellow Dog Party. However do not let their small packages fool you, there is a very sharp, taut story to be told. Thomas and Kathy continue to develop into one of my favorite investigating duos, along with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. Highly recommended if you are a fan of the seemingly extinct (now) pi genre.
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Reaquainting with an Old Friend June 23 2013
By Waldoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I ran across Earl Emerson in the 1990's. His excellent character development and wry humor captivated me. When I discovered they were available on eBook, I was extatic. Reading them now is just like reading them for the first time. Two gifts from one. How can you beat that?
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